Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni is urging fans to ‘enjoy’ Lionel Messi now as he responded to claims that the forward may retire from international football after the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
It will be the PSG forward’s fifth time heading off to the prestigious tournament, but he has previously hinted it could potentially be his last.
The former Barcelona star has never won the World Cup, but he did lead his nation to the final in 2014, where they fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat against Germany.
The 34-year-old has already retired once from international duty back in 2016, but quickly returned a month later, although the tournament in Qatar could be his last time pulling on his country’s shirt as he considers his future.
Head coach Lionel Scaloni has responded to claims that Messi is set to retire from international by sidestepping the question ahead of their clash with Ecuador on Tuesday night.
‘Sometimes, because that’s life, one gets old and I think that’s normal. But why not think about the spectacular here and now? Why not enjoy him now? It’s useless thinking about what is going to happen after the World Cup.’
‘After playing in a World Cup, everyone makes assessments. I’m not in the heads of the players to know what they’re thinking. ‘In any case, you have to enjoy it. You don’t have to think about the future, enjoy their spectacular present,’ Scaloni said.
Addressing the media after the game, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi also hinted that it may have been his last international match on his homeland, while he added that he will have some decisions to make regarding his career once the World Cup is over.
“After the World Cup, I will have to rethink many things,” Messi said, as quoted by Fabrizio Romano.
While the statement is not entirely clear, it does point towards the 34-year-old considering the possibility of retirement, at least from international football once the showpiece tournament in Qatar ends.